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KSJD Local Newscast - January 3, 2024

The first conventional uranium mining done in the U.S. in eight years is underway at three mines in Utah and Arizona. Energy Fuels Resources says that it plans to stockpile and eventually process the uranium at its White Mesa mill facility in southeastern Utah, the last of its kind still operating in the U.S. Scott Clow is the environmental programs director for the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, which is located near the White Mesa mill. Clow says he and the tribe oppose the increase in uranium production, citing the potential for a rise in air pollution for tribal residents living near the mill. He’s also concerned about the contamination of groundwater. Energy Fuels said high market prices for uranium combined with helpful government policies and the high demand for fuel for nuclear power plants also led to the decision to increase mining.

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Chris Clements is a former news reporter for KSJD. He had previously covered literary arts as a reporter for The Chautauquan Daily in Chautauqua, New York, and graduated with a degree in English from Arizona State University. At KSJD, Chris has collaborated with KUNC (northern Colorado NPR) on water conservation stories, and had his spots regularly featured on NPR's national newscasts.